Last week we finished working with a German Shorthair named Moses. He has come along way in his training and I was proud to pass him on to his owner. When I started with his training it was evident that he had lot of bird drive, but only wanted to try and catch birds that he smelled. There was no point in him. He had a great nose, but just wanted to dive in and catch birds. He was also a hard-headed dog and did not pick things up very quickly. His positive attributes were his great confirmation and excellent bird drive.
We worked with a launcher and eventually got him to respect birds and hold a point. Over time he progressed on his obedience training, handling and “whoa” training. After a lot of bird work he eventually learned it didn’t pay to chase birds and began holding through his points and watching the birds fly off (it is great to have homing pigeons for this). The north Utah owner wanted him trained primarily for pheasants and wanted him to break on the shot so he had the best chance of recovering a wounded, running ringneck.
Moses was a challenging dog, but turned out nicely. Toward the end of his training, I began hunting him on chukars, pheasants, and sharptail grouse. He now handles beautifully and checks back often. His first time out for sharptails he pinned a covey of about a dozen and held his point nicely so I was able to knock down a double. He is a striking dog and has a lot of intensity on point. Before he left me, he had had 8-10 wild birds shot over him. The day he was picked up he was headed for a week of pheasant hunting in North Dakota. I’m looking forward to hearing how he did. – Nick Muckerman